1940s downtown Yellowknife house destroyed by fire
A downtown Yellowknife house built in 1946 was gutted by fire in the early hours of Monday.
Formerly owned by prospector Chuck Vaydik, the building – on the corner of Franklin Avenue and 53 St – had been unoccupied and abandoned for many years.
Video posted to Facebook shortly after 1am on Monday shows a raging fire encompassing the house, which sat across from the Adam dental clinic.
The cause of the fire is unclear and no associated injuries have been reported. The City of Yellowknife has been contacted for further information.
Firefighters had left the scene by 5am, with Monday morning’s wet weather leaving the remains of the building thoroughly drenched once crews had extinguished the fire.
A City of Yellowknife Heritage Committee document compiled by Ryan Silke, last updated in 2016, lists the building as constructed in 1946 “probably by Frank Moyle, a prospector.”
The document states the building was one of the first residences built in Yellowknife’s downtown core.
The Vaydik family moved into the building in 1953, living there until the 1960s, after which several other prospectors and miners took up residence. From the 1980s onward, the building’s history and occupation are not documented.
Chuck Vaydik, born in Michigan in 1917, was a well-known Yellowknife prospector and community leader. He helped to found the NWT Chamber of Mines in 1967 and remained an honorary member until his death in June 1995.